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A Safe City which is Un-safe

Posted by Neeraj Singh on April 18, 2014 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

This story is about a key western city of India called "Ahmedabad". When I decided to come back to India after having stayed at Oxford & Chennai prior to that, my preference was company's office at Gandhinagar. There was a lot of research that I had done before choosing this location primary of which included the city being "Safe for Women".

 

Of all the Indian cities that I had stayed in, so far, I could say with a great certainty that Ahmedabad / Gandhinagar & possibly Gujarat was much safer for women. One of the reasons was also my frequent travel to Vadodara (Baroda) where I could see women folk travelling without any fear even late I the night that one dare not do in cities like Delhi. UK was a very safe destination, at least Oxford for sure, where I stayed for almost 5 years along with my family on a company deputation. In the last 4 months that I have stayed at Ahmedabad / Gandhinagar, my conviction has just got stronger.

 

The city has a very bustling life too. In fact the city itself is quite alive - day or night. Night out joints are famous too. Crime rate seems low as well, may be because of high employment opportunities. May be also the first city where I see a lot of women driving motor bikes which generally is a manly occupational fashion around other parts of India. Lump sum a good, no, a better, place to live in. The general belief that "Guju manav" focuses more on business or finding avenues to earn then wasting time on petty things, has a much better argument here on the ground . I love that aspect of the people here.

 

This perception completely gets falsified, though, when you get on the road. Driving is something that I would always be scared to undertake on the local roads here. Traffic rules are always kept on the pillion here. Well that was a very positive statement that I made rather Traffic rules just don't exist here. 

 

Traffic policemen are generally found issuing "Traffic Challans" rather managing traffic, in fact on most occasions; it seems as if they want people to resolve issues on their own. They would typically bother themselves only when an incident occurs.

 

People would jump traffic lights in such a way that traffic signals are made for some inferior class of people, I mean, how can they be stopped? They would honk behind you even if you are passing by a hospital without thinking for a minute about the pains that a patient must be going through because of your honking. In fact this happened just a while back when I was returning from the school with my kids. I couldn't do much besides staring the driver with expressions of "what the hell do you want"?

 

Very recently a set of few shops were gutted in fire at Prahalad Nagar & the only thing stopping the fire tenders to attend to the grave situation was the apathy of the driving community who would not budge to let the fire Brigade pass through, hope the very same people don't have to go through such a situation some day. Ambulances can keep sounding the beacons but it doesn't bother some people here who have the first right on the road & not a patient, in dire need. I would be really surprised if they or any of their relatives meet the same fate some day.

 

People would keep talking on mobiles while driving making it highly unsafe to others but why will they be bothered, after all every minute of theirs is so important as if the if the call is not taken the whole world would fall flat like how most of the American movies showcase with the hero of the movie driving at a break neck speed to save the world.

 

A state that has so many people from abroad, where the very same people would follow all regulations, just don't understand what happens when they come back to their own state.

 

A city that has all of what it takes to make it world class, I feel, would never become so with such low level of respect for each other. May be its money that rules here but as one says - more thou get, thou shall become humble, doesn't just seem to be applying here.

 

Jai Ho

 

PS: Idea of this blog is not to be critical of anyone rather requesting people to treat others with the same respect on the roads as they would expect for themselves.

PROBLEMS OF CIVILIANS

Posted by [email protected] on June 27, 2013 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)
There are many social problems here. The people are facing mental and physical harassment. Some times they dont get their rights due to lack of knowledge and information. The authorities say anything and people agree for it because they dont have their info they fear atrocities.. One of which iam facing. These are the situation in society. If he is un educated god must help. I appeal to people to know their rights.

India's Growing Impatience

Posted by Neeraj Singh on October 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)
  • April 1999: Son of influential Congress MP from Haryana, shoots & kills Model Jessica Lal, working as a barmaid at a Socialite Party for not serving him drink. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • May 1999: Son of a deputy SP in UP Police, shoots dead a parlour attendant for not being able to serve “Cassata” ice cream to the accused at Jehangirabad Palace, Lucknow
  • Oct 2008: CEO of Graziano Trasmissioni India Pvt. Ltd. was killed by a mob of sacked workers at Noida.
  • Sep 2009: A HR manager of Precol Ltd., a Global supplier of automotive products, was beaten to death by some of the workers not happy with the company’s decision to sack around 41 workers for not co-operating with the smooth running of the company in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
  • Sep 2011: A Toll attendant was shot dead by a youth, accompanied by his friend, for being asked to pay the toll amount of Rs 27 at Kheri Daula, bordering Manesar.
  • Jan 2012: Baby Falak, a severely abused girl of merely 2 years of age, was admitted to AIIMS with fractured skull & human bite marks all over her body. Baby Falak died on Mar 15, 2012 after suffering the 3rd cardiac arrest.
  • June 2012: Two young men shot at an Ice Cream vendor at the busy Hazratganj, Lucknow for being asked to pay the full cost of the ice cream bought by them. They paid only 300 bux out of 350.
  • July 2012: A HR manager working for Maruti was burned to death at its Manesar Plant by workers & union members. Before being burned, he was severely beaten up that led to both his arms & legs being broken which made him immobile & died of suffocation.
  • Oct 2012: Congress MP from Gujarat takes out his gun for being asked to show his original ID card at a toll booth in Vadodara
  • Oct 2012: BJP's Uttar Pradesh Youth wing Vice President shoots at a waiter for not being served food in his car

Disclaimer: All above incidences have been mentioned based upon information gathered from TV & media reports as available in the Public domain without any intent of prejudice & causing any personal reputational harm.

These may be some of the instances that grabbed the media focus but besides these are the many more incidences that are difficult to keep a track on as they have become a daily routine in India, Prominent among of those are:

  • Deaths due to growing Road Rage & importance of arrogance over human life
  • Increasing rape of Women including minor girls (as young as a 9 month child) doesn’t just show the growing sex hunger but also in a way the mental state of male chauvinism & less respect for female counterparts
  • Honour killings of young couples that have been declared the most deplorable act even by the Supreme Court, show how the males hunger to control the power within the family & society in the name of family honour. While it may also possibly be a way deal with fear psychosis of Khaps due to rising women power in the recent times.
  • Upward trending of Corruption seen observed in the recent years is not because of anything else but our growing impatience to get job done in the fastest & easiest possible way. Why would one not pay a “Challan” if asked for, instead of engaging in paying bribe?
  • Girls being murdered or being thrown upon with Acid for not acceding to the advances of young boys who are still to complete their education in most of the cases.

People may say that such rage & rape incidences are more prevalent in the west especially US as they are matured economies with everyone having enough money for subsistence, the above facts are truly acknowledging that these acts are not impacted by one’s economic living standards one’s our Educational, Cultural & Social upbringing.

Jai Ho

Who is Important?

Posted by Neeraj Singh on October 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

It's a bit vague for me to touch upon this topic but wanted to bring about the feelings that were getting beyond control now. I like to proudly say that I am an Indian & also that I am from Bihar. Although I am a Hindu but not sure I am so proud always to call it out vehementally. Reason is not because I don't believe in it but largely because it's a personal matter of my living style, my beliefs, my culture that I inherited from my Hindu parents. So when I reflect back, I could gather that whatever I am in those respects is because I was brought up in that environment. Had I been born in a muslim family, may be I would have got a different upbringing & hence a different way of looking at life & likewise in a Christian family or other religion for that matter. This is also because I have a little say to change the rules of the game. Religion is static, at least from my stand point. Science may change our thoughts on how to do a ritual but rituals will still be followed. Some may not but if it were to be followed, the process would be no different.

 

So I can reckon that what I am today has a significant influence of the religion that I belong to but would it be possible to carry the legacy & burden of this religion, had I not been having a family or Society or a Country to support me, at first. Any religion practiced by anyone can shape you but it has no purpose if it detaches you from yourself, your family & friends & finally your country. If religion by any chance, is doing it, it is for no good. if you don't get food, you run to your father not to the pundit, priest or an Imam. I would still think that most of us, when in pain, generally remember our moms first than anyone else. Who can be a bigger god than her for she is the one got us into this world.

 

If the propounders of, countries based on religion, are to be believed, the world will end in no minute. Two North Poles on a magnet can't attract each other. It is an undebatable science. Similarly, for people to live together, there must be an amalgation of people from various religions. This is because human mind always seeks to know something new, appreciate it & also let others appreciate what they have. if this chain is broken, it may be the most possible thing to imagine that natural evolution of human kind would cease to exist.

 

When a child is born, the first support comes from Science, followed by parents, then by Society & finally by religion. Your bonding with the former is more important before your bonding with your religion is established, again, by following some religious rituals. I really wonder when people say, I am Staunch Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian. I mean, I always wonder, what do they mean really when they say this. Are they telling the whole world that come what may, if there is no food to eat but beef to save oneself, I will still go by my religion, not eat it & prefer to Die - Don't be so farsical to yourself & others, for your own sake. Would a Muslim say that I won't get treated by a Hindu (because he is a kafir) to save my dying kids. Well if you do that, you can be the biggest fool. Reason is because the same God may praise you for worshipping him in such a diehard fashion but at the very next moment punish you severely for murdering a child in front of you. Well, that was based on Law of Justice, if God also follows the same way as our Courts do -:)

 

Love your religion but don't be blinded by it & above all, don't chant religious slogans that make you feel more fanatically attached to it, even beyond your Family, Friends, Society & Country.

 

Jai Ho

Angel at 74

Posted by Neeraj Singh on December 25, 2011 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I was almost managing my travel as mechanically as possibly a dying car with diminishing fuel will do. Just managing to reach at a place & then starting from there after having achieved the objective, almost within a day of visit. It was, like every year, my India trip. Jammu was on my radar. Had come to know of it browsing thru one of the Indian media channels, particularly NDTV, I guess. Dilip Bharatee had seen my message on NDTV & contacted me; that is how the whole story had started thru chain mails culminating into the visit. Smt. Bharti had established around 12 years back is what I knew. All I knew of her was that she was running this school with her pension money. What I also knew is that she was almost 73 years of age. I have seen many people, including my own known people, who much before this age, sit back at home & relax with their pension money. But here was a lady who at this age was managing to travel around 24 kms every day to the school to meet her children. This, itself, was more than an impetus for me to meet her personally.

 

Raman Saheb was accompanying me during this trip, one of my very old & closest pals. He had readily offered to come with me. It was just a day’s visit. Robin, an old colleague of Raman Saheb, was receiving us at Jammu airport, someone who had helped us arrange the chairs & a computer at the school. Next day we reached the school, I guess, around 11 am or so. We bought some chocolates for the kids. I had talked with Bharti ji a day ahead itself, I mean the day I had landed. She couldn’t be at the school next day as she had arranged a small congregation of local people & school children owing to her husband’s birth as well as death anniversary that incidentally, fell on the same day.

I was not really expecting a grand reception but got astonished to see few kids lined up in 2 columns, besides the small pathway leading to the school, trumping the bands & raising few slogans. It was besides all, a bit uncomforting to me as I never thought I have done anything which warranted such a reception. Smt. Pooja Batra, almost second in command to Bhartiji, came up to us & introduced herself. Robin already knew her as he had been to the school earlier on few occasions. We were taken to almost each & every classroom; there were around 4 of them with a teacher to manage a small group. In fact, the first room had 2 different class groups running simultaneously. I interacted with all kids, at least I tried to. To my surprise, they were as energetic as I would have really found the kids at the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools, where I have got my basic education from. They didn’t have any fear, they talked in English, and they could speak out their names confidently. What my mind was not able to comprehend was how come the kids whose parents come from the lowest strata of the society, like rag pickers, daily labourers, beggars are so confident. What on earth has been done to them that they speak so confidently?

Anyways, that was just a question & not really a show stopper for my urge to do more for the school. I made a list after having talked to the kids & the teachers specially Poojaji. Kids were so enthusiastic to show us what they have learnt & what they are good at. We were shown the craft’s work that Bhartiji herself teaches the kids; they performed some cultural items too that you can watch in the video section of the site. I was simply over whelmed with all that I was experiencing. I could never imagine that a lady of 74 years could do so much after retirement, using her pension money, could do so much travelling 24 kms every day, facing even the consequences of making the parents agree to send their children to the school, having to face the same people steal things from the school time & again for whose kids all this is being done. I mean what she has got that keeps her ticking like it. I was to meet her in just few minutes but her image was already carved out in my brain. She was no less than an Angel. Although I met her little later but my trip was already successful even if I were not to see her face to face.

Neighbourhood with China - How safe are we?

Posted by Neeraj Singh on October 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been thru many articles that project China as the potential threat to India. There is a school of thought that projects India as a threat to China as well for many reasons that I may not really always subscribe to. China is a big country. It is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It may still be a developing nation however has many feathers to its cap already, foremost being its ability to handle its economy more emphatically than most of the developed economies, creating dependence of a developed nation like US on itself, High infrastructural investments that many a world renowned economists have even termed as the "Bubble", being a strategic partner of Pakistan (Enemy's Enemy is friend) & few more.

India is also developing however developing faster than ever. In most of the cases, India is slated to follow almost the same path as that of China except really for how the economy is handled. Both of these are the most emerging nations, India has put itself for a permanent membership of the Security Council, that I think now is in jeopardy to an extent because of India's reluctance towards supporting the US, FR & UK's move to attack Libya, Both have a growing population with only difference being that when India's youth population would be highest across the globe by 2050 while that of China is now & would start depleting then (Thanks to its one child policy).

Why are then these two nations so much against each other that they don't really want to see eye to eye. Couple of reasons that I can think of are these:

1. Pakistan

2. Arunachal Pradesh

3. Clash of Titan ship within the Asia region

4. India's closeness with US / Other developed nations

5. China itself

Lets take one by one.

Pakistan: It proves to be a strategic partner for China. It’s more of the latter than the former. Reason is Oil. If Pakistan willingly provides the route to China thru its territory, China can easily create its pipeline from Iran, a deal which so far visualized India, Pakistan & Iran. Pressure from US on India to refrain from the pipeline emanating from Iran has actually acted as a double whammy for India. First losing out the Oil & second, losing out to its most strategic competitor, China. Additionally, working with Pakistan, gives China an edge on its western region to act against India in the event of any battle like conflict. More importantly Gwadar is already a region where Pakistan has promised China a Naval base. This not only provides a strategic location to attack India rather helps China establish its oil link from Arab countries on a sustainable basis. Aksai Chin could be another example, a place that India claims of its own for many a year. Indeed shows on its map too however China has different intentions & thoughts of this region. Again this is strategically an important location to attack India in any eventuality. Remember PoK or Azad Kashmir is not too far from Aksai Chin. These are the western & eastern tips of Indian map that you see today.

Arunachal Pradesh: Another region that China has been claiming of its own for some time & doesn't even recognise it to be that of India. How? Well, it doesn't even give a proper VISA to the people from Arunachal Pradesh & in some cases, doesn't even provide it once knows that people visiting are from Arunachal Pradesh because it thinks it to be its own. Recent cases of VISA denial to one of the IAS officers & Paper VISA to an Indian athlete could be good example to cite. Such is the prowess of China in this region that at times, locals find food from China in their houses (pl refer the latest media story on these news items). This happens in all visibility. Arunachal may not necessarily provide a strategic location but eventually isn't that bad too when you have Gwadar on the west, Aksai Chin on top, Tibet & Arunachal on the east. So in a way, With Arunachal in its belt, it could keep India tightly held thru all sides like a "Spanner".

Clash of Titan ship: Now this is a core issue & is purely owing to China's EGO. Today it can flex its muscles on a lot of Asian countries however with India being a permanent member in the Security Council; it may not remain the case. All in all, China would always deflect all possible ways of India to gain a seat there. More importantly, people looking up to India may not let China become a US (flexing muscle everywhere) like nation going forward. Remember, these are communists with the bent of Stalin. They will do whatever to keep their position intact. It is just like Maoists supported by the CPI (ML) & other communist parties. You better know of them. If not, refer to some recent (last 3-5 years) news from Nepal of how they arranged for the King to be thrown away. Good or bad is yet to be decided with such a turmoil that is yet evident in Nepal.

India's closeness with US / Developed nations: None of the developed nations actually like to see China eye to eye. Not for anything but for its arrogance & non alignment with the western thought process. Now that said, doesn't mean that India should lean towards the western powers but in the most legitimate sense it might have to play well if it wants their support for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council. It is equally good for western countries to keep India in the Security Council to keep a check on Pakistan & China, when need be. China obviously dislikes it that someone would keep an eye on it. Its overall strategy may not work out well against India if latter gets the membership. On the other side, China with Pakistan can create havoc on India. US's decision to pull out of Afghanistan may not augur too well too. China had been seeking a role in Af-Pak region for long & if all goes well, it may so happen in the upcoming years. India's Hindu fundamentalists may not want to align too much with Af-Pak but that is not a hindrance for China at all.

China Itself: Why do I say that is for only one reason? India is a democracy while China is not. But does that mean that there isn’t any Chinese working towards getting a democracy. One could be incorrect. China will always have this fear & will do all that is required to keep Democracy out. But remember, this is the only trump card that India possesses. If India were to win over China, it can win thru this alone. Put a light of democracy somewhere in China & keep fuelling it from time to time. Does it mean that the above issues will go off, probably not, but it will be a more rational discussion with the neighbours then? Uprising in the Arab world has already scared the Chinese govt. that it has already banned all of the internet searches that talk of these mutinies. More than that, they have a special internal force to keep a tab on all such activities within the country. They didn't even spare the foreign journalists who wanted to have views of the Chinese people on the "Jasmine Rallies" orchestrated by some of the rebellions for peaceful march every Sunday. It was proposed on the same lines of Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia. What best could describe it than the fact that China's internal security budget has been upped compared to its national security budget. This is called as "Stability Maintenance". So the place where it hurts the Chinese Communists the most of their power getting eroded & bringing Democracy is definitely & the only one such thing.

So above was my take on why the issues are there today. India's foreign policy so has been appeasing towards China for all reasons known only to the successive Indian governments. We need to press our heels more & go for it. What is important now is to keep the India's western region more advanced in terms of its preparedness to be battle ready (this is req. more), Build the strategic roads in Arunachal Pradesh (so far only 12 completed out of the 72 proposed) & on top of all of it -- Keep Nepal as your most important ally (They have always seen Indian as invaders) + Make Arunachal Pradesh as the Capital-in-Exile of the Tibetans. Tibetans need Tibet more than anyone else. Being closer to their own country would only help them to get to their resolve faster.

Jai Ho

Neeraj Singh

Things you should know about the Unique Identification Number

Posted by ankita on September 5, 2011 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (2)

Why is it important

The unique identification number (Aadhaar), to be issued to every resident of India, shall provide a foolproof way of verifying the identity of a person. The Aadhaar number shall be linked to a resident’s demographic and biometric information. A resident can use his Aadhaar number to identify himself anywhere in the country in order to access certain benefits and services.

What is the current situation?

The central and state governments issue different identity documents for specific purposes such as ration cards, election cards, PAN card etc.

None of the current identity documents have a system of online verification based on a person’s biometrics.

What will change

The Act would establish the National Identification Authority which shall issue Aadhaar numbers to every resident who applies for it.

Service providers such as fair price shops, banks and insurance companies may ask a resident to furnish his Aadhaar number and biometrics as proof of identity.

The service provider shall submit this information electronically to the Authority for online authentication. The Authority shall verify the correctness of the information and respond with a yes or no to the query.

The Authority may not share or disclose the information, except under some conditions. These include the consent of the individual, a court order, or for national security (on orders from an authorised officer).

 

Point program of reducing Corruption

Posted by Neeraj Singh on August 18, 2011 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

"Expecting Corruption to completely be rooted out of a society is a dream every mind can fantasize about, for it is the mind that Corrupts not an act", says the author. But there are definitely ways that one can put in the process to reduce it to the extent possible. Lets understand bit by bit. It's just author's view & you can add to it as you deem fit.

  1. Automate the Delivery system with proper checks & Balances thru Govt wide ERP tool to remove BABU RED TAPISM:
    • The biggest Corruption is not 2G or CWG, it's the not reaching of basic services to poor. It's the impact that decides the Corruption not the volume. Hence, I feel that the first & foremost is to ensure that every one who registers for a service from any public department, a ticket must be opened in the customer's name within the public government system. This ticket is just to track that nothing is going unnoticed. This ticket shall be opened by a user himself or thru a team of outsourced professionals, without the ambit of government, where users can come & submit their complaint in black & white. They should be assisted by a team of people who understand the need & righly log it within the system.
    • Based upon the ticketing system, the ticket shall get assigned to the right department within the government. So now it's the Ticketing office that needs to interface with the government department rather the user. Every Ticket professional should be target based in terms of the tickets that it closes & every Government official of a department should be bound by the turn around time within which it needs to close the ticket. In teh event that the government department needs any documentation or requires any interface, it is the ticket professional who needs to do it. It implies to all departments except for cases or tickets pertaining to the Police department.
    • A very promising scheme of the government like UID, will come in handy in this. Any service that needs to be provided, should be provided to the consumer at his door step rather than one to visit the government offices for collection. It's here that the corruption is most likely to happen. Like if I have a ration card & a UID, my monthly ration should reach me between every 1st to 10th of the month without myself to go & open a ticket on the system. There should be a provision for one time logging of such services. If the user puts a complain that such service has not reached him, he can put a complain that the ticketing official needs to chase to get done. Ticketing official is bound by the TAT. In the event that the service is still not reached the consumer on two complaints, it should automatically be escalated to the state's Right to Service team. A complaint or a ticket can't be closed unless there is a written authentication provided by the consumer. Instead of 10 PDS centres, a district or Taluka should have one ware house where all PDS related items need to be maintained. The PDS distribution officer doesn't have any control on the Ticketing system.
    • In the PDS centre, the amount of grain & other articles available is maintained by way of a computerized inventory system. The day a consignment reaches to the local district office warehouse, there are five people who should certify it thru the system logins if the amount entered is correct or not. They should be the District Magistrate, Suprintendent of Police, District Medical Suprintendent, District Judge & a certified Local NGO head. It becomes the duty of the DM, upon receipt of the grains, that it gets distributed across the people within a stipulated time period. This again needs to be tracked thru the system. Every Chief Minister or Minister for Rural development should ensure that it is getting done in time or not. In the event that distribution is not closed in time, the system should automatically escalate the issue to centre with a cc to Central Vigilance department.
    • Create an Audit team of outsourced professionals. This team's job is just to find out if the service to a rural or urban person has reached or not, if in time or not, if rightly or not. This person can be provided with a hand held device to audit the consumers for those who have a ticket opened. Everyone on this PDA device needs to necessarilly put his thumb imprint instead of signing to ensure if the service has been reached or not. This anyway is being maintained in the UID. If not, it can initiated. Signatures can be forged, thumb impression, ummhh, very difficult unless you have a criminal intent of that nature.
    • Follow the same process above for any tenders that are requested for any civil work by the government. All of the tenders should be received by the government thru only a mechanism of online system meant for registered traders/contractors. All this information should be available in the system. If say for eg, a contractor constructed a road in the locality. But the quality is very bad & the road got damaged in one season, it is the job of the consumers to file compliants within the system pertaining to that road. The ticketing professional then needs to assign which contractor has got the road constructed. Once you have reached a limit or criteria to take an action against a contractor based upon number of compliants, that contractor will be up for suit in the law of court as a PIL on behalf of the government with a copy of the complaint already having reached to the district judge thru the ERP system. So if the government doesn't initiate the action, the judge can reprimand the government.
  2. Right to Recall: If a MP has been charged in the Court of law & his conviction is upheld, he should be called back. He ceases to be a MP any further. The same should happen in case of anti defection that a MP does.
  3. Abolish Discretionary Powers of Ministers: No government minister, big or small, should have any discretionary power to decide upon any matter, big or small. Everything must be decided based on a process, which is again online & would need the exact person to authorize what needs to be authorized. If a minister wants to override an executive, he can do it but by only recommeding his decision to a bigger panel.
  4. Right to Service Act: What better can one do than what the Bihar & Jharkhand governments have done in this area on the eve of sixty fifth Independence day. Right to Service act primarily is a ray of hope to those who need basic services full filled. As of now, this has been started with a view to provide important certificates that people require like Certificate of Income, Character, Residence, Caste, Mutation & Driving license & their renewal. This would need to be ensured to be provided to the petitioner within a stipulated period of time without greasing anyone's palm failing which there is a provision for penalty or even suspension from service. This needs to be read in conjunction with the first point of automating the service delivery system.
  5. Independent Prosecuting Agencies: CBI & CVC should immdiately start working as an independent entities instead of reporting to the government. Today they are regulated by the government & hence political witch hunting is everywhere to be seen. Let them play fair & unbiased.
  6. Mandatory projection of Prime / Chief ministerial Candidate: All political parties must project their prime ministerial candidate before the elections. No party shall be allowed to get into the electoral process unless they clearly project to the people who will become the head of state / centre upon their winning the elections. It should apply even if the government is a coalition, pre or post elections. Which ever party gets maximum seat, can make the Head of state irrespective of any situation of coalition compulsions.
  7. Minimum Votes to be elected as MP: No MP shall be elected just because he has polled the maximun votes across a bunch of candidates. A successful candidate must poll a certain number of votes to be declared as winner. If it is not followed, the candidate so chosen is not essentially represented by the consituency. The minimum votes for a MP to be successful should be atleast 50% of the constituency size.
  8. Make Voting in Elections Mandatory for all: People don't take part in elections because of which lot many times, one has to contend with wrong candidates winning the elections. All people, eligible to vote, should be mandatorily made to vote. There should be some punitive mechanism, as in Australia, to deal with errants.
  9. Make Municipalities devoid of Party Politics: One of the main reasons, even good people, don't fight elections at municipal level is because it involves party allegiance. Typically it's the political party's mammoth size, money & muscle power that wins over an individual. Remove it until the Municipality level. From Mukhiya to Municipality, there shouldn't be any party system, whatsoever, for fighting elections. It should be just fought by individuals. For whatever work that they do & are accountable for, should be checked by the Auditors, as proposed above. Right to recall should apply to them as well.
  10. Turn unorganized sector into Organized Sector by bringing in Governing policies: One of the main reasons some of the industries have a lot of Corruption is because of the unorganized wayin which they operate & it is very difficult to take any action against them. Best examples to cite is the Real Estate industry. By far, it is this industry that sees most fo the corruption in terms of land grabbing, building mafia, Underworld. Today one doesn't even know if the land on which one is building a house is legal or not. Government offices don't have the updated records. After 10 years of building, notifications are issued about the illegality.
  11. Make Choices available to people: Typically we have always said & believed that we need to get good people in the system. That seems to be a very ambitious. Not that we don't have such people but to get them elected depends upon a number of factors that may not be in your control. So best is to contain an issue. Today, poor people are dependent upon government agencies for most of their basic needs. What we miss is the availability of options to them. Even for a service they have to be registered at a single place of domicile. Like a poor who migrates from one place to another can't benefit from pro poor policies of another state because he is not domiciled there although he remains poor wherever he is in within India. Policy should be such that he gets the benefits of his state or visiting state & that his travel doesn't prohibit him to get such benefits.
  12. Social Entrepreneurship & Community based Programs for Profit making: In addition, social entrepreneurship needs to be evolved in the country. We have the co-operative societies only in certain areas or industries. This will need to be changed by getting co-operative societies in majority of the areas like civil, construction, land cultivation etc. This will empower the poor as well to come forward & get an equal amount of share in most of these areas. Today they are restricted to a bit in Banking & milk societies alone. Some of the government & private bodies have ventured into this area & doing well. Unless we empower & unite the power, looting them is so very simple.
  13. Re-Invest at least 40% the revenue earned from a location into that location: One of the major issues that we see today is that we reap the benefits of the forests & send them to the urban areas or exports while the area that gave the benefit still remains in shambles. Unless we have a habit of re-investing the revenues in that location itself, anyone would be against you. Maoist issue is one based on such premise. We took their mines, took their forests, took their lands for commercial use but they remained where they were. When they demad services, we ask them bribe.
  14. Make Policing a Central Subject: Today most of the police officers play dirty in the hands of the local politicians within a state. They work as the local state government asks them to do. They need to act as it were right to do. Policing ideally should be reporting an agency National Police Commission reporting into the Central Home Ministry. They should have a single line of direction. No police officer can be transferred just like that. He needs to complete his tenure unless the situation warrants & the matter cleared by the National Commission. It can't be a decision of a minister to transfer an IPS officer on his whims & fancies. In addition, it should be the same Policing process across India. Why should one have to go thru a different system everywhere. More so, any state should have only 40 percent of its staff as the local domicile owing to language & geographical requirements. Remaining 60 percent should alwalys be from other states. There shouldn't be any thing called as a state police commission at all at the first place. Again the filing of cases should be done thru a team of Judicial members rather than the police officials. Filing of case, requires a legal understanding rather a policing understanding. Once a ticket is raised, it just needs to go to police to take action. This team can be part of the National Judicial Commission.
  15. Mandatory payment of more than Rs 25,000 thru Cheques: Every transaction that  involves more than 25,000 should be done thru cheques. Which would mean that no one can do a cash withdrawl of more than Rs 25,000 in a day. One should be able to withdraw money thru a local bank. Only Hospitals will need tobe provided with a 24 banking service where irrespective of your bank, you would be able to withdraw more sums when required. All such transactions would be available with the IT department to check against the account holder if the reasons cited are correct or not? All banks should file with the income tax authorities cases where monies more than Rs 75,000 has been withdrawn thru cash in a month. Income tax authorities should have a right to check the accounts & question the individual. In addition, a separate a/c should be created for individuals with wealth for more than Rs 5,00,000. Each such account information should be available with the RBI & income tax authorities for monitoring. Income tax authorities will need to take a warrant from the Tax Commisioner before they check such accounts & give strong reasons before interviewing an individual in such matters.
  16. Mandatory filing of Income tax by Traders, Businessmen & Politicians: Every local registrar of companies should have an automated system to check if all the traders / companies registered with it have filed their return or not? In no way, should it ever happen, that one goes without filing the income tax returns. These returns should match with the details of his bank accounts. These checks should be monitored by the IT department. In the absence of a trader/company failing to do, his registration should be cancelled within a given period of time. SImilarly all elected MP's & government employees must register with the government the number of accounts that they operate. This should be made part of the national registry & should be strictly secured. Only relevant people with the right credentials & Authority should have access to it. The pattern of security should be same as that maintained by the private banking companies or the BPO companies while securing the customer banking records.

 

Remember we don't have an effective Audit & Governing system but more than that we don't have the right processes set up to do Audit & Governance upon. We need to set up a team of professionals rather than government babus to find out the best process to administer the above & make them effective.

Distinction between Sentiments & Practicality

Posted by Neeraj Singh on August 14, 2011 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Anna Hazare will start his "Anshan" from the 16th Aug. I would rather call it as a resumption of the earlier one at Jantar Mantar. What we saw in between was a daily Opera Soap with dialogues between the government & the society, accusations, cross accusations, heightened politics & what not. While Anna & his team have done a commendable job in bringing a lokpal bill in the parliament for discussion & in all fairness it will get passed too with few modifications here & there. It may not be in the form of a Jan lokpal bill though.

 

What is important to be noted here is the way Anna & team could gather mass support & make the government get the bill that had been waiting its disposal for the last 4 to 5 decades. Today Congress, thru its press conference, charged Anna Hazare for indulging in gross corruption, as reported by Justice Sawant few years back. While it was an opportunistic for Congress to bring this for discussion at this stage however at the same time, if the questions have been raised, being a public figure, Anna must, first, clarify his position. He may not want to do so but in that case, I am doubful that a lot of people are really going to support him, as he is expecting from the whole nation in his fight against corruption. Clarifying position doesn't necessarilly mean that he has to come out clean rather it means clarifying his personal role into those accusations. Even for a minute, if it is established that he was indulged in corrupt practices, he, because of his personal wealth, doesn't seem to have done for any personal benefit. Everyone can change & transform. It doesn't mean that one who, at one time, may have been involved in such practices, doesn't have the right to change & lead such movements. One must tak cue from people like Arvind Kejriwal who, when accused of using his NGO money unappropriately, came & defended his position & made everything transparent in full public view. Same goes for Shanti & Prashant Bhushan too. They indeed went a step further & filed case against the people who accused them for they knew, they were clean. I think, it is time, Anna follows suit.

 

I also recognize that these are meanest things possible to accuse someone of Anna's stature for one won't dare so dearly to take such grand stand unless he himself is free of such malice & can stand the scrutiny of the public offices & that of government. More than anyone, I guess, it is for one to stand one's own scrutiny. Hence, it even becomes more important for Anna to clarify the position.

 

That said, there is a growing need for Anna & team to play a bigger role. His demands are not just his. They are of the countrymen. For Congress government, it would have been an opportunity to seize & secured their berth at the centre for ever, had they been able to bring a very strict lokpal bill but then wisdom doesn't come easy, right. But it equally applies to Anna & team too. If without being in the government, they could push the government to get the bill tabled in the parliament, I am sure with their presence in the parliament, they can do wonders. Why are they restricting to only Corruption. There are many other things that need reform. We need people like them who can think progressively. They too could have seized the opportunity but then as I said earlier, wisdom doesn't come easy.

 

It was a time that Anna & team could have spent the next 2 1/2 years meeting with such people who vouch for reforms & could have dedicated their life for this public cause. It was such a ripe time as the mood of the country was with them. They could have pursued time until 2014 to look at all matters where reforms are required thru discussions & chat with the students/household people/businesses etc. Remember, any government for that matter will listen to you for some time unless you represent the electorally. You can do "Anshan & Dharna Pradarshan" but beyond a point a middle class man won't suupport you as one has to feed ones family. Moreover, your thoughts need to be acted upon by the central government & not the state governments, so in essence, whatever happens at state level is not going to add anything to your cause. If someone is of the opinion that Yellow revolution is a possibility in India too, don't worry, that will never happen. Yellow revolution was against the oppression of the state. That is not the case here at all.

 

Unless you start presenting yourself thru a democratic means, nothing will change. I have heard a lot of people saying that unless you have money & muscle, you can't win elections. This was even echoed by Anna casually. I completely disagree with that statement. Had that been the case, Dr Ajay Kumr wouldn't have won from Jamshedpur recently against the huge money & muscle of BJP. Had that been the case, Dr JP of Jansatta party wouldn't have got elected ever. Had that been the case, West Bengal wouldn't ever have seen the wind of change. It's time that they play a bigger role thru the democratic system of electoral politics to change the country. Just by saying that they represent civil society, I am not sure they will find enough takers in this country or anywhere for that matter. Time to draw distinction between sentiments & practicality.

 

Jai Ho

UttishthaBharat

 

Given a chance anyone can rule us again

Posted by Neeraj Singh on July 31, 2011 at 3:24 PM Comments comments (0)

We were ruled for more than 200 years by English. English were not alone. We had Portuguese & French too. Their colonies are still alive. In principle, we all know that English used "Divide & Rule" as their policy in every sphere of Indian mindset to rule us. We were naive, well, not really. Naive would mean that you don't know about something & do get a hold on the subject with maturity. You learn from your mistakes & try to recover in the best possible way. It will be very difficult to create a comparison between then & now based on the way we conducted ourselves or on the type of Governance we had then vs now. Then, we had many ganarajyas ruled by different rulers. They were more to do with their own right than of the larger India.Today we have a democratically elected government, by the people, at the centre which is responsible & accountable to the nation for its security, foreign policy & defence from outside threats. 


But then there are certain things that haven't changed at all. Like if the divide earlier was mainly on the grounds to increase ones might, it is no different today. Infact if you look closely the divide has increased. North Eastern states are aliens to us. Remember India is as much theirs as anybody else's. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to pl raise one's hand for its accession to neighbouring country. Yet people from North Eastern states are given a step motherly treatment in the northern plains. Kashmir could never get into the mainstream even after 60 years of independence. It takes a minute for any tom, dick & harry in India to stand up & say that Kashmir belongs to India but not sure how many of us really have thought to help it in the past. For us, Kashmir had never been more than a touristical destination. So much so that yesteryear bollywood movies couldn't get completed unless they had one shot from there. Not sure how many more years would be needed to bring them into the mainstream. Although we know where the problem lies, we haven't acted more than a bunch of jokers, for the separatists vile their time off as peacefully in India as it would have been difficult for them in Pakistan. We have seen the regional violence in Punjab that almost had Punjab from us followed with the sectarian violence after Indira's cold blooded murder. Not every Sikh was a khalistani still every single one paid the price of being a Sikh. None can answer why? My history is not so good but have heard & read in many books that Sikhs came into being to protect the hindu's. If that count is true even by the minutest levels, here were hindu's killing their own protectors. Now a days, history plays little role in creating any sort of goodwill amongst people because individualistic nature has crossed all boundaries. Value system is collapsing. 


If Anna represents along with few others, for a good cause of Janlokpal bill, we have many intellects asking him question why there isn't any dalit on the panel or for that matter any muslim included too. Unfortunately none asked him the question that Anna, since you are doing the "Aamaran Anshan alone", I would join you as I belong to a dalit caste & no one is representing that community with you. We are always ready to eat the pie together but can't share the making of it. Ramvilas Paswan's of the world still make merry. Wonder how could he even pass such an statement, oh forgot, he is an Indian politician, right!


China has flexed its muscles time & again on Arunachal. For that matter even Google, on various occasions, doesn't show Arunachal & Kashmir being part of the India at all. China openly denies regular visa to people of Kashmir & Arunachal, It doesn't allow any basic construction work at Leh/Laddakh yet the mighty Indian government of 1.2 billion people just swallows its own spit. I mean wonder how can someone instruct you to do or not do things on your own land. That's nothing more than atrocious but we, peace loving people, see it with fun & forget the very next day. Btw, the MEA spokesperson always comes with a smile & a statement, that  can get on your nerves, the next morning.


Gujrat riots happened. Lot of lives were lost. They included both muslims as well as hindus. More than anything, we lost Indians. But unfortunately, I have seen so many cases airing on the news channel howver all against crimes that were perpetrated against muslims. Why, were hindu's less Indian or human being. Teesta Seetalwad proudly goes to courts to fight muslim cases, why? Is she not the most undemocratic person. You are trying Modi & it makes perfect sense to me but why don't you, at least, ask a question to Seetalwad on her intent. We won't because immdiately from secular we will be branded as non-secular, undemocrat, right wing fundamentalists. 


Whenever a Kargil happens, there are thousands marching on roads showing their patriotism & support to the Army Jawans. Moment the war is over, we just forget who they were. We create so many obstacles & make so many nasty statements on their kith & kin when they, rightfully but not willingly, apply to get the awards from the government. Refer to the video section if you need details & don't come banging that the author has a myopic view & not all Indians think that way. Bloody then why don't you raise your voice when you hear such instances of indifference to the parents of martyrs. Why do you go with a contingent to meet the prime minister showing your helplessness when your kith & kin are hijacked in a plane. You, then, get ready to exchange your relatives lives with hardcore terrorists who would come back & strike on places like the Parliament & Mumbai, again & again, killing hundreds & thousands innocents. Where does your patriotism go then? Flies off, isn't it? 


Raj Thackrey will always say to throw the Bihari's & UPites out of Maharashtra But he won't shy in taking the help from the same Bihari or UPite if he is a commando & is required to take on the terrorists in Mumbai. Then everyone, for him, becomes an Indian. The best example of a creechy characater trying to establish his political base in Maharashtra. Don't think the people are so behind for he has a huge support too. I mean, for godsake, how can you support such a typical anti establishment character, just because he speaks your language. I am sure at this too, a lot of people, will raise hands that all are noy alike & we don't think that way. Sir, in that case show show your solidarity with other people, who have wisdom of thought. For that I praise Asha Bhonsle, who at least, in full public view, denounced Raj Thackrey's thoughts.


Now tell me, with so much of bickerings internally as well as externally, why do still you strongly feel that India "Given a chance can't be ruled again by someone".  For some of you, it may still be a hyperbol figure of speech but remember these are just some examples. I am sure it won't be so easy for anyone to do that but if this is how we carry on, the day is not too far off, either. We need to up our level playing. Instead of playing dirty politics, our leaders need to think beyond the regional & caste levels. More than that, we, the people, need to think more inclusive than trying to the exclusive breed. Remember being exclusive comes at a cost, dear cost.


Jai Hind

Uttishtha Bharat


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